Vancouver's Craft Beer Scene: The Entry Point

By Hanna Waswa

Taking yourself for the first time to a brewery can be intimidating; after all, we all have that one friend who knows more about beer than the pope (... the pope drinks beer, right?) and is more than happy to inform you of all the obvious mistakes in the one beer that you liked.

But let’s backtrack a second. We all start somewhere, and the best place to start is with some curiosity and a willingness to try new things. So here’s a guide for the as-of-yet uninitiated to jumping into the craft beer scene.

First. No matter what the dude with the beer cellar says, craft beer is about good drinks and good friends. So pick a buddy who’s interested, and go taste some things and figure out what you like. Are you in it for the extreme bitterness of IPAs? Great, more power to you. Are you on a quest for the perfect pilsner? It’s out there waiting for you, I guarantee it. Whatever style of beer you love, you’ll find it sooner or later, and you and your friend will have so many new memories.

Second. Visit at least four brewery tasting rooms (not necessarily on the same night, but you do you). Don’t give up after the first one. Quality varies wildly across different breweries, as do styles. Once you find that perfect beer, ask about it! Try the same style at different breweries. Soon you’ll have a collection of beers that you love from breweries across Vancouver, and firsthand experience of the craft beer scene.

Third. Don’t sweat the details. The most important thing about the beer in your hand is that you’re enjoying it. Everything else is just there to guide you to your perfect party companion.

So there you are: you now like craft beer. Soon you’ll be the go-to beer recommendation person, and one of your friends who has never strayed from a Bud Lite will come up to you asking how to start getting into craft beer. Congratulations! You’ve arrived.